FOPP Book Haul

Monday 25 June 2018

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With a spare few hours in Nottingham last weekend I couldn't help spending most of it in FOPP.

FOPP HAUL image of carrier bag with products in

For those who have not been lucky enough to come across one, FOPP are a chain selling films, music, books and other entertainment. You can find your nearest one here. 

With my favourite part of FOPP clearly being the books, which for the most part are 2 for £5 I think I did really well to only leave with six. There was a horrible moment where I laid all my choices out and had to reduce my pile to meet my budget but I've still came out with a beautiful lot.  

Stack of books purchased at FOPP

First of all I added to my Virgina Woolf collection with copies of 'To The Lighthouse' and 'Orlando' in beautiful Vintage Classics editions with introductions by Peter Ackroyd, Margaret Reynolds, Eavan Boland and Maud Ellmann. 

Images of Virgina Woolf and Angela Carter books

In the Vintage editions I also picked up Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories' a famous collection of short stories based on fairytales whilst challenging how women are represented in them. 

There was so much choice, varying genres and some incredible music books and biographies I could have stayed there all day. 

Fopp Haul Simone De Beauvoir, Stephen King and Carrie Brownstein

The next three I chose were Stephen King's famous 'The Green Mile', Simone de Beauvoir's 'The Second Sex' and Carrie Brownstein's 'Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl'.

Unless I need a book quickly I love coming across them rather than actively seeking them out or ordering online and i've really enjoyed finding King's book and charity shops recently. 'The Green Mile' was published as a whole in 1997 but was previously published as a serial. I have only read a few of Stephen King novels but he is an author I want to read more of and these last few book shops have really helped out. 

I also picked up Simone de Beauvoir's 'The Second Sex' which definitely slipped through the feminist reading net, although I am intent on catching up. I was also really chuffed to pick this up in the 2 for £5 deal, have you seen the size of this book? I don't think it will be one i'll be sliding in my bag on a daily basis. 

Carrie Brownstein's memoir 'Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl' was also part of the unbelievable deal.  Following her through feminist punk music, women in rock and how these would define music and culture from the 90's through to today. 

Frances Ha DVD as part of Fopp Haul

The final addition to my FOPP shop was the incredible 'Frances Ha' on DVD. I love a DVD and when 'Frances Ha' was taken off of a popular streaming service along with 'Lola Versus' I started to keep an eye out for them. Luckily FOPP came through on this one and added to my Baumback and Gerwig pile. 

If you're visiting a city that has a FOPP it's well worth popping in. I'm thinking next time i'll treat myself to more vinyl, and probably more books.  

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200 Degrees comes to Sheffield

Wednesday 6 June 2018

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Taking over the midlands, the north and south wales, 200 Degrees has opened in Sheffield this week, joining the titans of coffee on Division Street. 

Coffee at 200 Degrees Sheffield

With the Sheffield shop opening that makes it seventh across the UK and it is easy to see why. Last weekend I was invited to their pre-launch event to sample their food, drink and decor before they opened their doors but I couldn't resist going back this week to see if the amazing standards were maintained.

Food at 200 Degrees Sheffield

A beautiful selection of sandwiches and wraps are the first thing that takes your eye on the left hand side as you walk in, you can view the menu here but with only one vegan and one vegetarian option we're hoping 200 Degrees step up their game for Sheffield. I've yet to try their breakfast options but give me another week and i'm sure i'll be pretty much living there. 

I tried the hummus & beetroot baguette, which did not skimp on the filling! Plenty of fresh, tasty ingredients and I loved the mixed seeds for a bit more texture in the baguette. I also sampled the falafel and pepper wrap which went down in one. The wrap was soft, fresh and floury and I cannot wait to have a proper lunch there, I heard the potato salad was perfect. 

Food at 200 Degrees Sheffield

Of course I had to leave room for dessert, we sampled a couple of different cakes including the vegan banana bread with chocolate chips and the gluten free courgette loaf cake. 

cakes at 200 degrees sheffield

But when I went back for my second visit I was recommended the espresso brownie which was also NGCI! I am not gluten intolerant but when you notice how much your pals cannot have when you're out for a brew it really makes a difference. It was beautiful, rich and dark and paired perfectly with a flat white. 

cake and coffee and 200 degrees sheffield

Our second visit was just as great as the first, staff were friendly, familiar and even remembered our previous orders (cue feeling like walking into the cheers bar) so we settled in and chatted away the hours over a few drinks. For our second order I tried their famous nitro cold brew and I 100% recommend buying a can or seven. By using nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide you get a smoother and thicker texture from the drink, perfect for coffee just like it is for stouts, giving a creamier and sweeter effect of a milky coffee but with a crisp taste. 

Cold Brew Coffee at 200 Degrees Sheffield

It helps that 200 Degrees are all about their roast, it's not an easy task and they've nailed it. Everyones taste varies so finding a roast that works across the board is amazing. Roasting since 2012 their signature blend 'Brazilian Love Affair' is slow roasted at the lower temperature of 200° for a smoother taste, retaining its full bodied richness that creates a beautiful espresso but also holds up its flavour in milkier drinks. 

Neon at 200 Degrees Sheffield

But the perfect cup of coffee isn't just about the roast, it's about the environment and customer service too. A range of lampshades on different levels brings the heigh ceilings down for a cosier atmosphere and also added to different sections of the seating, ranging from work areas with plugs to cosey seats and the neon fire. It's a large venue to fill and hopefully with time it will get a warmer atmosphere with some plants and artwork to clash against the stunning copper wall and contrasting metals.

Lights at 200 degrees sheffield

In my time off from work a cup of coffee wth friends has been a saviour not just a drink. A moment to reflect, talk with friends and embrace my own need to take a break in the day. There is something lovely about someone else making you a drink, especially when the staff are so proud and passionate about who they work for. I am attempting to go back to work next week and I can see myself becoming a regular at 200 Degrees, especially with that neon that matches my hair. 

Welcome to Sheffield 200 Degrees it's incredible to add another independent business to Division Street.

Check out their website here, or follow them on twitter, facebook and instagram or give me a shout if you fancy popping in for a brew. *

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'The Girls' by Emma Cline

Sunday 3 June 2018

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Typewriter Teeth The Girls Emma Cline Book Review , image of the novel surrounded by flowers

In her first novel Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ follows Evie Boyd reluctantly reflecting on her teenage years, captivated and taking refuge with a group that alludes to the Manson Family. But rather than Russell (hinting towards Charles Manson) becoming her obsession it is with the girls of the group, and in particular a character called Suzanne (resembling Susan Atkins) who she falls for.  

Evie is the daughter of an unfaithful father and a mother who replaces him with a line of inadequate men, as they live off her grandmothers money. As a discontented and neglected fourteen year old, desperate for excitement she falls in awe of the girls after watching them steal food, pushing herself into opportunities to meet them. As she settles into their ways Evie overlooks a number of unusual and aggressive behaviours, as if she is trying to find herself by losing herself in this strange way of life, drifting alongside them rather than diving in head first. 

Typewriter Teeth The Girls Emma Cline Book Review  image of book with a cup of tea

Evie’s adolescence accelerates when she decides to stay on their ranch, growing up slowly then all at once. Where she lacks the confidence and belief in herself she seeks it out in Russell to gain Suzanne’s affections. Evie’s loneliness drives her to trade her body for emotional support and empowerment and accepting Russell’s wildly impossible ideals.

‘The Girls’ is not attempting to work history but use it as a backdrop. Our prior knowledge means that an intensity is created by Cline by embracing an assumed understanding and fear by alluding to Manson. Russell’s character fills the edges of the novel, but the idea of him and his actions are more intrusive. Emma Cline is drawing us into what neglect can lead people to. His manipulation means those who follow and love him will carry out his ideas and work for him, the way a cult becomes more of a person than they ever were before. But Cline’s restraint on this setting creates the perfect frame for what a poisonous situation can cause and brings the focus back to Evie, the girls and how close she was to danger. 

We the reader fall in line with the trance like warmth that falls over ‘The Girls’ and although the Manson murder backdrop is necessary, it is the terror of girlhood and exploration of adolescence that forms the heart of this novel. Cline articulates perfectly the longing in their teenage eyes to understand themselves and the everyday overlooked violence committed through girlhood in neglect, exploitation, emotional manipulation and sexual assault. 

Typewriter Teeth The Girls Emma Cline Book Review  image of the spine of book

Debut novels like this are rare and Cline has created an incredible, subtle and thought provoking book. Get The Girls here. 

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